OSKALOOSA — Sunny skies greeted the residents of Fremont early this past Saturday, which turned out to be the perfect backdrop for the beach party-themed Fremont Days.
The small town had a full slate of fun activities planned throughout the weekend, including a talent show on Friday night, a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning, and outdoor games for all ages.
Fremont turns 171 years old this year, and was founded just two years after Iowa became a state in 1846.
Several vendors set up tents and products near the community center early Saturday morning.
Brandee Francisco, the community’s coordinator for the classic car, truck, and bike show on South Pine Street, was on hand to greet people.
“We’ve organized this show for about the last ten years, and we usually feature at least ten vehicles,” Francisco said. “But next year we’re planning to expand and make it even better, and our goal by then is to feature at least 25 cars, trucks, motorcycles, and semis.”
Francisco added that their advertising budget should increase next year, and that he hopes to continue to collaborate with Dan Hulbert and the Rollin’ Oldies Car Club to expand the Fremont Days show.
Traffic was diverted away from Main Street. The parade route headed west from just north of Casey’s onto North Walnut, then looped onto Main Street and back north to the staging area.
By 10:45 Deb Beach was donning a baby shark costume and leading the younger children in a round of “Baby Shark Dance” in the middle of Main Street, as families staked out the best parade-viewing locations on either side of the street.
The Mahaska County American Legion Post 34 Color Guard marched at the head of the parade, stopping in front of the community center. As the color guard moved into position and residents and visitors rose to their feet, Alaina Lee offered up a very inspiring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
Brian Bramshriver, the emcee for the parade, announced each of the parade participants as they made their way past the community center.
The Oskaloosa and Cedar Township fire department trucks were both featured, and the kids were all eager to hear them sound their sirens. There was plenty of candy being tossed along the route on both sides of the street.
The Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont school marching band could be heard playing way off in the distance, before they even made their way in front of the crowd.
Hannah Koellner, the 2019 Iowa State Fair Queen from Eddyville, made an appearance and waved to the crowd as she was escorted in a black convertible.
The Lion’s Club, Titan Machinery and other groups were represented by several different vintage tractors and cars.
Cedar Livestock 4-H members brought up the rear of the parade, along with equestrian riders from the Mahaska County Saddle Club.
The parade was just the beginning of the day’s lineup of events, which also included a children’s pedal tractor pull, a bags tournament, bingo, and a chili cook-off. There was also a picnic in the park and music provided by Ted Stockton and Band.
The festival concluded with a community church service at Fremont Park on Sunday.